When our class got the copy of the script "Medea", we were supposed to first come out with the design for Cornell Box, and then from there carry on to make a set design, and subsequently the costume design. All these, of course, are just for assignment purposes and not meant to be really materialised.
As stated in my previous post, I had adapted my setting to ancient India and there is a reason why I did that. The whole concept behind my set design for “Medea” came from a single idea of Kali, the Hindu Goddess usually associated with destruction and death. In turn, Kali is a manifestation of Parvati, the benevolent Supreme Divine Mother. The multiple manifestation of the Supreme Divine Mother shared some similarities to Medea, as she has many faces to her as well; Medea is a sorceress, a vengeful wife and a seemingly loving mother (as she claimed to be in the script) all rolled into one. Medea’s ultimate destructive nature also parallel to a certain extent to Kali, but at the same time contrast with the Goddess in the sense that Kali kill demons for maintaining peace on earth, but Medea kills for revenge. Based on the above aspects, I have decided to transpose the setting from ancient Greece to ancient India.
The set consist of 4 components, flats showing distorted structures of a Hindu shrine depicting the distorted perspective of Medea’s world, enormous holy Hindu scriptures in the form of raked platforms representing Medea’s beliefs in the Gods, an inverted cut-out of a Indian landscape on a seamless translucent canvas for the projection of washes to create different dramatic moods and a turn-able rostra which shows the idol of Parvati on one side and the “throne” for Medea on the back.
At the start of the show, Medea is in the temple of Parvati pouring her heart out at the Goddess. The skyline is deep blue, echoing the melancholy of Medea. The chorus, in the form of fairies by the sides of the Goddess, appears to console and give advices to Medea. After Medea kills her children, the skyline turned red to symbolize bloodshed, and at the same time, the flats showing the distorted structures flies off and the “statue” of Parvati turns around to show Medea’s “throne”. Medea, who now appears dressed like Kali climbed onto her throne, suggesting that she is her own God. The whole rostra rolls off upstage and the black centre curtains draw in, masking out the entire upstage, leaving only Jason all alone on stage.
Below here are images of my final set design: